« PreviousContinue »
duty imposed upon them by the act to file proceedings against the Communists before that Board.
So I am sorry I won't be here tomorrow, but I hope and I know that my colleagues on both my right and left will carry the ball.
Mr. RARICK. Mr. Chairman, I almost shudder to contemplate what you have said, because it would indicate the Attorney General of the United States might be deliberately attempting to sabotage the efforts of this committee and the Congress to safeguard our people from the communistic movement, which is certainly gaining ground in our country.
Anybody can respect a man who does the best he can with what he has, but when a man takes no action and then says he does not feel the court will back him up, he is the judge and the jury.
The CHAIRMAN. Well let me tell you, I remember as if it were yesterday, one member, Mr. Yates, took me to task, year before last, or last year, when we debated the SACB amendment. He said, well that is all right, that is all right, but what about the Justice Department? Will they back you up?
I read on the floor of the House a letter by the Attorney General, in which he said that, within constitutional limits, if we passed the bill he would cite these Communists. And then I was brought to task by Mr. Culver of this committee, saying that the letter was meaningless.
Maybe it was meaningless, and I was too dumb to see through it myself. I don't know. But you remember that, when I read it.
Mr. Watson. I remember it specifically; yes.
Mr. RARICK. Well, perhaps this committee had better start investigating the Attorney General's office and see what is wrong over there. The man is bound to be an attorney. He is obligated to preserve, defend, and protect the Constitution for the people of this country.
I had heard the testimony of the previous witness, and in examining the eminent body's final decree, they went out of their way to talk about the equities of nonsensitive, so-called, employment.
This man Robel was what, a machine operator? He had been so working for years and apparently, knowingly, to the people at the head of the factory, he had been in such a position, and I would like to leave this committee with this thought.
When it comes down to protecting the lives of our boys in combat and to maintaining peace of mind and security right here in our own country, the heartland, what in a defense facility is a nonsensitive job? A janitor? Sweep-up man who goes around to the waste baskets or sweeps shavings up? This is very definitely a sensitive position.
The CHAIRMAN. I expressed this just yesterday.
Of course, I understand that the Supreme Court held void the particular provision of the Internal Security Act which we seek to correct, on the ground that it violated the freedom-of-association clause of the first amendment.
I said, well, I don't; I believe very firmly in the establishment of religion provisions and the right of worship, and I'm not trying to promote a religious doctrine here. It is a fact, however, that I happen to be a Catholic, and I think after all, now that is a pretty old institution.
I said when he was teaching catechism, on freedom of association, the priest used to tell us, tell me who your company is, and I will tell you what you are.
And I said I seem to recollect that in my first-grade primer it said that one rotten apple in a barrel might infest the others, at least the apples coming in contact with it, so I think this freedom-of-association business is just stretched just a little bit too far sometimes.
I don't want to chastise the Supreme Court. There is freedom of association in this country. There should be. I don't think there is any question about that. But I doubt that a father would be proud, during the prohibition days, as I said yesterday, that a son would associate with Al Capone or I doubt that a father, to be perfectly frank--we are all of age around here, I doubt that a mother would be proud of her daughter's association with a slut, a woman of the street. I would doubt that. But however, constitutionally, I can appreciate the liberty of association, but I think sometimes they push that doctrine just a little bit too far for me. What about you?
Mr. RARICK. Mr. Chairman, I agree with you. I am wondering if we can expect the Supreme Court to give that same freedom of association to this open housing bill that just passed, by declaring unconstitutional any of the regimented attempts or programs to racially break down neighborhood patterns.
Certainly such laws would destroy freedom of association, because a man could not dipose of his own property to people of his choosing or his neighbors' liking. I wonder what they will do with that?
Mr. Tuck. Freedom of association also includes the freedom not to associate, doesn't it?
Mr. RARICK. Yes, it should. I think what the chairman said, Mr. Tuck, if a man wants to associate with Al Capone, let him associate, but I think that people who deal with him, especially if there is danger involved, should know who he is dealing with. Certainly so where there is a threat to the security of our Nation, I think this is the responsibility that we have.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, frankly I have withheld expressing the views I have just expressed, as chairman of this committee, because somebody is going to chastise me. I know that probably in tomorrow's press, some way, and I want to make it clear and repeat that I will keep my mouth shut, as a matter of law.
As a lawyer of 42 years of experience and as a man who taught law 10 years, I agree with the principle of the liberty of association or nonassociation-as a matter of law. But as a matter of philosophy and practice in everyday life, I think that the doctrine is more pragmatie in Îife than it becomes in technical law, and I think they push it too far as a matter of law.
Mr. RARICK. Well, I agree with you, Mr. Chairman, especially when it comes to employment in defense facilities.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course you are absolutely right.
Mr. Rarick. Federal employment is a privilege. It is not a guaranteed right.
Unless they have completely rewritten the Constitution and all theories of legal precedent, the sovereign is the sovereign and if we work for the sovereign, we can expect that we should have some curtailment of what otherwise might be rights or protections and privileges.
I even think that a clerk in the lunch room of a defense facility is a sensitive employment because people going in and getting a cup of coffee and relaxing for a minute are liable to make some comment, and certainly any foreign power or group out to advocate the overthrow of our country would gain intelligence with people in these positions.
I question this was the basis on which the Supreme Court ruled, but they talked about these things. They had to, I guess
The CHAIRMAN. Well anyway I do hope that we have corrected this bill, and we have tried to, even the Supreme Court would say that from now on, at least, it will be nonlawful to employ people in national defense occupations that are specifically defined in this bill, and no question about it.
Mr. RARICK. Mr. Chairman, if I may leave my short statement here. I think that you gentlemen are well apprised of the situation we face, and the need that must flow from this committee, and I for one will support the legislation, vote for it, and do everything in my power to help you in getting this bill passed.
The CHAIRMAN. Thanks. We need more like you.
Mr. RARICK. I think this bill is necessary as a pledge of faith to the future of America itself.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF H.R. 15626 BY HON. JOHN R. RARICK
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee: I am proud to join with my many distinguished colleagues in cosponsoring H.R. 15626, a bill to amend the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950. This committee is duty bound to report favorably on this measure; the Congress must approve it; our Nation must have its protection. These are perilous times. We must do all in our power to assure our people that America has an invincible shield against the constant assaults of the Communist conspiracy. Our people look to us in Congress for this protection.
Twice within the last 3 months, the U.S. Supreme Court has attempted improvidently to strike down the legal protection we so diligently sought to establish. This Court, which seems intent upon jeopardizing America's ability to protect herself from the Communist threat from within, struck down a vital provision of the Subversive Activities Control Act. This same Court, seemingly intent to destroy the security of our national defense program, has not only repudiated the word of Congress, but also the President of the United States' power to protect defense facilities from infiltration by subversive elements. The members of that Court ask to be given specific instructions of congressional intent in these matters and this legislation proposes to do just that.
Last December, in United States v. Robel, the Court invalidated section 5(a) (1) (D) of the Subversive Activities Control Act. This provision very simply stated that when a Communist-action organization has been ordered by the Subversive Activities Control Board to register, it shall be unlawful for any member of such an organization to be employed in any United States defense facility. Robel, an admitted Communist, continued to work in a Seattle shipyard, in the knowledge that the yard has been designated by the Secretary of Defense as a defense facility. The Communist Party had been ordered by the Subversive Activities Control Board to register, and the registration order had been upheld by the Supreme Court. The Court, however, upheld Robel's position and struck down the relevant provision of the act for the weak reasoning that it "contains the fatal defect of overbreadth because it seeks to bar employment both for association which may be proscribed and for association which may not be proscribed consistently with First Amendment rights.” Moreover, objection was raised in a concurring opinion that the power delegated to the Secretary of Defense to determine what constituted a “defense facility" was “so indefinite as to be meaningless."
In a defense facility, what position can intelligently be passed off as nonsensitive? The janitor who cleans off desks and disposes of debris, waste paper, and trash which may well contain telltale evidence to an outside security agent?
A restaurant employee who, in moments of idle relaxation by employees, may be in a position to overhear invaluable loose talk.
Norin a defense facility all positions of employment are sensitive when it comes to barring known and sympathetic agents of alien philosophies and governments determined to destroy the Government of the United States.
H.R. 15626 will remedy these legal hurdles. It has been so drawn to require not only proof that an organization is Communist, Fascist, totalitarian, or subversive, but that a member of such an organization has actual notice of its designation and that he has actual notice that a defense facility has been so designated. The measure takes no action to limit a person's “right of association," which, after all, is but judge-made law nowhere to be found in the first amendment.
Furthermore, H.R. 15626 clearly and explicitly defines congressional intent in relation to the power of the Secretary of Defense to designate defense facilities. He is given the power and directed by this measure to so designate any facility which may reasonably be said to affect national security-and the language of this portion of the bill is so precise as to present no ambiguity to misconstrue our intent.
Likewise the standards set forth for the exclusion of subversives from employment in defense facilities are clearly defined. Very plainly established are the standards to be applied in denying employment, but at the same time procedures are provided for the safeguarding of constitutional liberties.
This bill authorizes the establishment of security clearance programs to protect our vital defense facilities against sabotage or espionage by subversive elements. It also protects classified information relating to the national defense by authorizing an industrial security clearance program. And it provides for the administration and enforcement of these programs through a strong but fair system of investigation, hearing, and reviews.
Employment in positions which vitally affect the national security of our country-the vast majority—is not a right. It is a privilege, and the United States Government is entitled to-indeed, must have the authority to set certain reasonable standards for employment. The measure proposed by H.R. 15626 does nothing to infringe on constitutional liberties; it merely prescribes reasonable standards for the protection of this Nation's defense posture. We cannot-indeed, we must not compromise our ability to protect ourselves from the dangers of subversion by inimical forces.
I urge your committee to report favorably as a pledge of faith in the future of America.
The CHAIRMAN. Has Speedy Long arrived yet?
STATEMENT OF HON. SPEEDY 0. LONG, A U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
Mr. Long. Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
You were here when I expounded my ideas about freedom of association and the Justice Department's doings or nondoings. I think you were here.
Mr. LONG. I was here.
Mr. LONG. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: I am happy to be here with you this morning in support of this proposed legislation and the bill, H.R. 15626, which several Members of the Congress have cosponsored or introduced with the distinguished chairman of this committee, and on which I am proud to associate my name as one of the cosponsors of this legislation. And, Mr. Chairman, I wholeheartedly agree with the views expressed by you in regard to the position taken by the Supreme Court in this matter of freedom of association.
Of course, as you so ably put it, there is a lot that the courts seem to stretch in reference to our Constitution and I am going to touch on some of that in my prepared statement.
I have a prepared statement which I would like to read at this time, if I may, to the committee, which expresses my views and sentiments in regard to this matter.
I will furnish to the committee at a later time today copies of this statement, which was prepared rather hastily, and I did not have the opportunity to prepare copies to bring with me this morning, but which I will present at a later time today.
Now I will proceed to give my prepared statement.
Mr. Long. As I pointed out, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to appear before and to testify before this great committee on the purposes and provisions of H.R. 15626, as I stated, a bill which I am honored to cosponsor with your distinguished chairman, and my fellow Louisianian, and with other Members of the House of Representatives.
It would obviously be a duplication for me to undertake an involved discussion of the five-fold purpose of H.R. 15626. I do not doubt that Chairman Willis and members of the committee have a detailed and extensive knowledge of this bill, amending the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950.
Perhaps I should indicate at this point that the apparent implicit intent of this bill to set right flagrant injustices in several decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court with relation to the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 is, in my view, a positive step in reclaiming the powers and responsibilities which Congress has lost to judicial usurpation. I submit, Mr. Chairman, that while we can answer the objections voiced by the Supreme Court in the Robel case with respect to prohibiting members of Communist-action groups from working in defense facilities with H.R. 15626, the time will soon come when the Congress must exercise its constitutional power to veto decisions of the Supreme Court which alter our democratic institutions and imperil the lives of our people. The Congress will be forced to act simply because the Supreme Court will continue its mad grab for power until they are forced to go to the people for a truly democratic mandate.
While we consider this bill, we should take special note, I think, of the appeals of certain defeatist segments of modern American society which tempt the Congress with the easy but illusory path of inaction now open as a result of the Robel, Greene, Shoultz, and other decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. We are called upon to accept blindly these decisions, the theories of less than nine men who by the nature of their callings are insulated from the people and the mainstream of American political philosophy. We are asked to accept these nit pickings as the final word on the Nation's ability and propensity to protect itself from internal subversion. Indeed, it would be the path of least resistance, and few could successfully gainsay such inaction. Congress